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DOE Seeks Partners To Expand Wind For Schools Activities

U.S. Department of Energy's '20% Wind Energy by 2030' report

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today announced a Request for Proposals to expand Wind Powering America’s Wind for Schools activities to an additional three to six states. The Wind for Schools project helps address the wind industry’s need for a skilled workforce to support the expanded development and application of wind technologies by supporting wind energy educational programs at universities and in primary and secondary schools.

This opportunity provides universities, state institutions, and nongovernmental organizations funding and technical support to develop educational programs to improve the understanding of wind technology and its implementation using the successful Wind for Schools model.

The first objective of the Wind for Schools project is to educate engineers in wind applications analysis and development through the development of Wind Applications Centers located at colleges or universities in wind-rich states. The second objective of Wind for Schools is to educate K-12 students in wind energy and engage communities in a discussion regarding the application and benefits of a robust wind energy future for America. This second objective is met by installing small wind turbines at K-12 schools and assisting schools in implementing wind-focused curricula through curricula development and outreach, school support, and teacher-training workshops. By assisting in the implementation of the wind turbine projects, college students at the Wind Application Centers obtain a better understanding of wind technology development, thus helping to fulfill the project’s long-term objective. Through these activities, DOE is helping to address one of the major challenges for the wind industry identified in
its 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report.

By expanding the understanding of and training opportunities in the deployment of wind and other renewable technologies, DOE is furthering the nation’s energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Although national in scope, the Wind for Schools project has a strong focus in rural areas of states since this is where most wind development is likely to take place. More information on the Wind for Schools project can be found on the project’s Web site.

Final proposals are due November 20, 2009. Projects are expected to begin in fiscal year 2010 and last for approximately three years. DOE expects to contribute up to approximately $60,000 per selected activity per year. A copy of the complete funding opportunity including proposal guidelines and submittal information can be found on NREL’s current solicitations/request for proposals Web page.

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